“Music is the only thing no one can ever take away from me, it lives in me. It makes me feel like everything is going to be alright.” These are the words of lead vocalist Moises Juarez, of Tomorrows Bad Seeds, a high-energy Los Angeles based band that combines elements of reggae, rock, punk, soul and hip-hop. The band has recently released their newest CD Early Prayers and are out on the road in support of it. I caught up with Juarez to discuss the band, Early Prayers and life on the road.
If someone came to me and said they had .99 cents and wanted to download one of Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds’ songs, I would have a hard time picking one favorite. What song from Early Prayers would you recommend? Moises: "Vices" because the crowd likes to sing along and I think it is a song everyone should hear.
The songs on your new record, Early Prayers, are not exactly what you would find on your typical reggae album. You guys offer a welcome range of musical sounds and abilities from hard rock and rap to reggae. Do you think this is due in part to your varied influences and/or a desire to explore new realms of music? Moises: This is definitely due to our varied influences. Living in Los Angeles has exposed us to different genres of music. We are products of our own environment and we all come from different walks of life.
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band? Moises: Writing our music is a collaborative effort. We all have a say in the final product.
The name of the band Tomorrows Bad Seeds is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story? Moises: TBS used to be a crew that we grew up in that was based in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Tomorrows Bad Seeds was one of the names that derived from the “TBS” abbreviation. When we started the band, we wanted to take it back to our roots.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes? Moises: We do a lot of pre-production in the practice studio, so by the time we hit the recording studio we are pretty much ready to go. We also like to get creative on the spot, so we might change a few things and experiment.
Now that Early Prayers has been released how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome? Moises: Yes, we are totally fortunate and blessed to have the response we have been getting from all of our fans. Thanks to Maz, Lair Dog, and all our people at UrbanTone Records.
Give us some insight into the record Early Prayers and the meaning behind its title? Moises: It is an early prayer for Earth and for humanity; a window to your soul in this mad world, to help cope with daily life.
What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of the new disc? Moises: Fresh new sounds and conscious lyrics.
Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on this record? Moises: The record is filled with love, hate, politics, life, death, propaganda, conspiracy, idealism... live everyday as if it were your last... love to live, live to love and know you will always be remembered for the good and the bad; we all make mistakes, but it’s never too late to turn it around and make a change.
When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd? Moises: All the people that have let us crash at their pads have been really nice. One instance, we were in Salt Lake City, UT and arrived right before our host left for work at about 8AM. Some of us stayed in the van and some went in the house to rest. Around 10AM the neighbor called the police and before we knew it, we were outside handcuffed on the floor. It was a big misunderstanding. Luckily, our host cleared it up and we were released without being charged.
When you are out on the road anything can happen and often does. Can you think of any disastrous events that happened while out on tour? How did you solve the problem? Moises: Our van broke down about 200 miles outside Los Angeles. We had to get towed all the way home. It cost a pretty penny. Good thing we were done with our tour.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage? Moises: To keep your voice well rested in the studio. Always get good sleep because the vocal cords are a different kind of instrument that needs to be taken care of, so no staying up late, drinking or smoking. On stage when there are technical difficulties, like monitors cutting in and out or the sound guy messing with your vocals, don’t let it show on your face. The show must go on and most of the time the fans can’t even tell.
What is the one thing you travel with that you just can’t live without? Moises: Toothbrush, pillow and blankets, cell phone, and earplugs.
Are you guys very politically minded? If so what are your thoughts on the recent election? Moises: We are, but one thing I was taught was not to speak about religion or politics. Let’s just say, we are the voice of the people for the people.
What does the future hold for you guys as a band? Moises: Many more albums to come. The Bad Seeds are here to stay for good. Maybe a world tour or play on the White House lawn like Rage Against the Machine. It’s a bright future for us and I can tell you that the sky is the limit. [ END ]